By Paul Fitzgerald - Greenville, SC, Veteran launches t-shirt line to recognize fellow heroes
David Anderson is doing what he knows best and believes in: always serving his country proudly.
Although he has retired from the US Navy as a LCDR (O-4), Submarine Officer, with 23 years of service in May 2010, his business savviness and artistic talents are being put to good use in recognizing those who have and continue to fight for America and for the rights of other countries who also deserve the same democratic freedoms.
With this, Anderson, who now calls Greenville, SC, home, has just launched his 2014 US Military t-shirt – a true salute to the Marine Corps. He is the founder and owner of Bigger than Gods, a popular clothing company that is widely known among athletes, bodybuilders and fitness coaches right across the USA, Canada and even Europe.
“My Marine Corps shirt was always planned because I have a few great friends that are Marines,” says Anderson during an interview. My mental vision is that past Marines and today’s Marines may have fought different battles under different circumstances but they are forever linked in so many ways.”
His new shirt features an 1812 Era Marine, a WWI and a WWII Marine led across a timeless battlefield by a modern day warrior. The finished product displays sand eruptions from bullets and explosions and bullet trails in order to identify the battlefield. It has the USMC and SEMPER FI Logo above and below the battle scene. Future versions will feature lettering for major battles in Marine Corps history which include Iwo, Hue City, and Belleau Woods. The front has the Globe and Anchor left pocket and the wording: "Nov 10, 1775: Continental Congress Resolves to Raise Two Battalions of Marines.” This is Congress’s resolution that marks the birth of the Marine Corps.
Since launching his new Marine t-shirt line this month, Anderson is getting salutes and sales are climbing.
“I am getting so much positive response from veterans as well as soldiers in our military: The Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy. Even the Seals are calling asking when I can produce shirts for their branches,” he says. “It’s great to see the support and interest out there. What’s even better is the outpouring of support from the general public. While the world now is a different place and conflict is a sad reality, it’s wonderful to see so many people support our troops who are fighting the War on Terror and who are serving America and ensuring the world is a better place to live.”
Anderson, who is a tall and has a large-athletic body, explains that he drummed up his company name by fluke after a friendly encounter with a surfer a year ago at the Nags Head for North Carolina for Bike Week.
“I recall it so vividly,” he says. “Because of my size, this surfer guy walks up and exclaims: ‘Dude, you're like, Bigger Than God.’ After a good laugh, I told him that no one was that big and he eventually ventured off into a sea of people at the big event. After this, my friend and I kept calling each other BTGS over the weekend and then I suggested it would make a cool name for a clothing line.”
Sure enough, the rest is history.
"The idea for the name developed that modern athletes and everyday people must be much bigger than ancient man imagined their mythical gods to be… Thus we have become Bigger Than Gods,” he says.
Anderson has many notable athletes wearing his apparel. This past March he even made his company’s presence known at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH. And now droves of bodybuilders, athletes and fitness buffs alike are ordering shirts from him online.
“Bigger Than Gods Apparel is growing and it’s such a fun business venture,” he says. “People from all walks of life will always love their t-shirts, and what I love most is that I can take all sorts of ideas and bring them to life so people can sport them proudly.”
He always felt that he would use his apparel line to pay tribute to his brothers in the submarine force. It is a brotherhood as one Dolphin wearer knows what any other submariner went through to earn the privilege of wearing Dolphins.
“I started with the Qualified Gods of the Sea shirt,” he says. “It then evolved into a second shirt and then I was asked to do a British Royal Navy Version and have now sold 200-300 overseas. I have sold shirts into the United Kingdom, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Greece, Canada, and a few other smaller countries.”
Anderson holds a Finance Management MBA from Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and now has plans on opening up his own powerlifting gym. He also has other military-style t-shirts on the drawing board which will be launched this fall.
“Being retired is nice, but I have so many more dreams to fulfill,” he says. “That’s one thing the Navy taught me: keep reaching for your goals and always strive to be your best.”